Guide 3: Speed up your way to sit-stay success using a place board - Part 1

Guide 3: Speed up your way to sit-stay success using a place board - Part 1

Speed up your way to sit-stay success using a place board - Part 1


What is the idea behind using Place Boards in sit-stay in dog training?

‘Place boards’ are a raised platform, with a non-slip textured top, which contrasts with the surrounding surface.

In our foundation training, we encourage the dog onto the board and into a sit and remain sitting until they hear they hear us say “OK” as a release cue. 

We build positive associations being on the board by rewarding them for their behaviour. (Check out our earlier blogs in the series by Clicking Here).


Why does using place boards in training stay speeds up success?

The texture of the mat on top provides a tactile contrast to the surrounding surface so there will be a perceptible difference to the dog having all four paws in the right place versus offering the wrong position.

For example: when practising sit & stay we can teach the dog that when they place all four paws on the boards is when they earn a reward, whereas if they step off or creep forward, they will not earn a treat, so the dog will be less likely to break their sit-stay and offer incorrect behaviour in the future.


How do you train sit-stay using Place Boards?

First, we build the dogs patience:

  1. Count out 3 treats.
  2. say ‘sit’.
  3. Count to 2, feed the first treat to the dog’s mouth. Count a further 3 seconds, feed the second treat. Count to 5 and say ‘OK’ to release, throw food out to reset.


To build the sit-stay to 30 seconds:

  1. Count out 6 pieces of food.
  2. Deliver 1 treat to the dogs’ mouth one every 5 seconds, throw the 6th to the floor as you give the release cue ‘OK’.
  3. To Progress, reduce the frequency that the treats are given e.g., count out 3 treats, one every 10 seconds.


Goal to achieve: Practice until your dog can do a 30-second sit for one treat and only release when you say ‘OK’ for their ‘Start-Line Sit Stay'.


Want a challenge?

  • To test their understanding and response to the release word: count out 10 treats, say 9 words before you say ‘OK’. Feed to the mouth each time the dog successfully ignores a word that isn’t OK. e.g. say the names of all their favourite toys.
  • make the exercise harder by using an excited tone of voice or by using words beginning with ‘O’ e.g. oblong, Olivia, over here…

If you found this blog post interesting, you might like to look at our bronze class where Place Boards feature to train start line steadiness.


About the author:

Hi 👋 I’m Emma, accredited as a professional dog trainer by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). I help owners of energetic dogs achieve the dog-owning life they envisioned by providing robust obedience & agility training for dogs in Balsham, near Cambridge.

DisclaimerThe content of this article does not include personalised advice and is for information purposes only. If you need individual advice or other enquiries please click here to get in contact or if you're not local to Anglian Dog Works, you can find a trainer in your area by going to the IMDT website:


Please share your questions and progress: 

We would love to see how you get on with your dog’s introduction to place boards. For tips from our trainer and to share success post your pictures and videos in the Anglian Dog Works Facebook group. 


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